In May, I attended a weekend-long Michigan Go Run! Political Leadership Training Intensive, part of the White House Project based in New York City, a great experience I shared on this blog.
According to the literature, “The White House Project is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, 501 (c)(3) organization that aims to advance women’s leadership in all communities and sectors—up to the U.S. presidency—by filling the leadership pipeline with a richly diverse, critical mass of women.” (logo used with permission).
In short, they help cool, competent, incredibly motivated and talented women of all ages, race, and experience realize the changes they envision for their communities, and the world. They do it by sharing key tools women need to more effectively run for office and serve alongside their male counterparts.
The White House Project takes eager, willing little diamonds in the rough and helps turn them into shiny political jewels capable of impacting real change.
But you don’t need to be running for political office to benefit from the wisdom. Whether or not I decide to one day seek political office remains to be seen. At this time in my career and advocacy life, I’m keen on taking part in efforts and professional training that I believe will help me better serve the special needs population, a population greatly impacted by the need for political change at the highest levels. I need and want to know more about how the political machine operates to more effectively advocate within its ranks.
The training I’ve received so far has already proved valuable in my work, whether I’m doing a conference keynote or defending my stand on the key issues impacting the special needs population. I’ve been reminded of where my true strengths lie and about how far I have already traveled. Good leadership training is always worth the time and effort. I believe strongly in pursuing life-long educational opportunities that help take you to the next level of advocacy.
The capable White House Project staff and competent outside training professionals nurture, challenge, educate, cajole, share personal stories, and even entertain- and the food is always good! The commitment to this important effort is clear. After feasting on the political training bounty, women attendees walk out standing a bit taller, more focused, and reenergized, believing just a bit more strongly in their ability to impact change in the world (or in one community). They leave with valuable skills and an insider’s glimpse into how the wheels of the powerful, fascinating political machine turn. All take a greater appreciation for why such training is critical to their dreams of realizing needed change.
Yesterday’s smaller, hands-on group training left nowhere to hide. A dozen women representing a wide range of experience and pet causes were expected to step boldly up to the political-training plate and perform on the cuff, before receiving critical feedback (ouch!), along with no-holds-barred suggestions for improving our messages- great training for the real-world political arena! In the early hours exercises most looked a bit like deer caught in the headlights (think tiny little fish in big choppy political waters). At the end of the day most were left feeling they’d hit a training home run, better prepared to face any sharks they might encounter in those dicey political waters.
The $50 training cost was a steal. Huge thanks to Michigan Field Director, Shannon Garrett, and her competent team for ensuring time well spent!
The White House Project is a terrific effort that provides top-level training. It’s an experience I strongly recommend for anyone involved in working for important policy change, whether in their backyard or at the state and national level. Such efforts are especially valuable at this time in history when so many women are in the forefront of the big political race or behind the scenes driving successful campaigns at all levels.
With a little insider knowledge and training, you begin to see why some people more easily get caught up in the power and intoxication of the political world. It is fascinating, and egos need to be frequently checked.
Yesterday’s intense training was exhausting and time well spent. Fact is, I’m still a bit tired, but in an empowering kind of way. We were warned to prepare for an intense, long day and it was just that. But I left with renewed commitment, improved skills and a reminder of how such skills and training help ensure that women are better prepared to take their rightful place in politics, too.
I’m all about taking action and being part of the solution.
“Add Women. Change Everything.”
To learn more, visit: www.thewhitehouseproject.org.
Special Needs Issues